Madame LaDa

In 1914 Emily Schupp began her professional career performing interpretive dance as popularized by Isadora Duncan in the early 1900s. Emily spent years studying folk dancing in Europe and brought these skills to the American stage. Her New York debut in April 1914 was a rousing success and she became a very popular performer. Adopting the stage name of “Lada”, she successfully toured until the early 1920s.
Seeing the growing popularity of Schupp’s performances, in 1915 some enterprising vaudeville manager started a novelty dance act called “Madam La Da & Company.” The novelty part was that “Madam La Da” did escapes. Billed as “The Wizards of Locks, Bolts and Bars,” she escaped from handcuffs, a locked mail bag and a straitjacket in full view of the audience. How they combined a dance number with escapes, unfortunately, was never mentioned in the reviews. Not surprisingly the act lasted only one season. Much shorter that the real “Lada.”

The name of the performer who was billed as "Madame LaDa" is lost to history. All that is left are a few advertisements and reviews in newspapers along their tour.

Republic, Feb. 10, 1916
Niagara Falls Gazette, Oct. 6, 1915

David Ouse, “Emily Schupp”, Zinith City Online 
Niagara Falls Gazette, October 6, 1915, Niagara Falls, New York
Indianapolis Star, January 16, 1916, Indianapolis, Indiana
Madison Daily Herald, January 21, 1916, Madison, Indiana
Republic, February 5,9,10, 1915, Columbus, Ohio
(references are in order they were first used)

Gary Hunt Copyright 2018


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